02/16/2005 12:00AM

Rosecroft sale falls through

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The family of Peter G. Angelos, owner of the Baltimore Orioles, pulled out of a deal on Tuesday to buy Rosecroft Raceway, a harness track in Maryland.

The deal's last-minute collapse represents a retreat by Angelos, one of the state's most influential figures, from the role he had been expected to play in lobbying for legalized slot machines, an item high on the agenda of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

A lawyer for the Angelos family requested a penalty-free extension of up to 60 days on Tuesday, which would expire just after the end of this year's legislative session, according to Thomas Chuckas Jr., CEO of Rosecroft.

Chuckas said the lawyer's explanation was that family members were "concerned over events taking place" in the state capital of Annapolis. Track officials took it to mean that the family is worried a slots bill will not pass.

Slots legislation has failed each of the past two years and faces strong opposition this year.

The $13 million deal, however, was not contingent on any legislation, so track officials refused the extension.

The Angelos family will lose a $500,000 deposit.